Fundamentals of Government
1. Federal government
2. State government
3. Iowa’s legislative process
4. Iowa’s agencies & interaction
5. County structure
6. Legislative powers & interaction – county
7. City organizational structure
8. Legislative powers & interaction – city
9. Comprehensive example – bridge inspection
10. Comprehensive example – stormwater runoff
This course examines the organization, operation, and interaction of branches of government at the federal, state, and local levels. The legislative process in each results in laws, regulations, policies and guidelines that may greatly affect local public works operations. The judicial and executive branches independently provide the system of checks and balances that are the foundation of our government system.
Understanding those processes which are involved at all three levels is the first step for individuals to positively impact the final laws and regulations and to assure that they are the best for society as possible. Knowing and building personal relationships with legislators along with making your willingness to share your knowledge with others during the subcommittee/committee portion of the law making process can help direct final results into a meaningful and useful law.
These skills are developed by knowing:
- The legislative delegates from your district
- The legislative process of each body
- The current status of a bill as it progresses
- The policies for adopting regulations needed for new laws
Once completed, participants should be able to:
- Understand the concept of government relations
- Understand their role in the legislative and regulatory process
- Identify that adequate funding and resources for public works is dependent on these processes
- Understand how federal, state, and local governments work together to provide public works services
Key concepts include:
- Local, State and Federal Governments Operations
- Laws ⇒ Regulations ⇒ Policies ⇒ Guidelines affect us all
- Importance of individual participation in making laws
Director; Office of Policy and Legislative Services
Degree from Iowa State University
Dan Franklin is the Director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Services. He is a graduate of Iowa State University – began working for the Iowa State Highway Commission in 1972. Following assignments in the Highway Division, Planning Division and Railroad Division, in 1984, accepted a position with the Director’s Staff – now the Office of Policy and Legislative Services.
The Office of Policy and Legislative Services coordinates our state and federal legislative programs. As the Director, Dan serves as the Department’s liaison with our Congressional Delegation, providing updates and analysis of current and emerging transportation issues, federal activities and programs.
Administrator of Workforce and Succession Planning; Operations and Finance Division; Iowa Department of Transportation
Graduate of the University of Northern Iowa
MA in Public Administration; Drake University
National certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources
Certified Public Manager
Kate Murphy is the Administrator for Leadership Development and Continuous Improvement for the Iowa DOT, and serves in their Performance & Technology Division. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/PublicPolicy from Drake University, Kate is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a Certified Public Manager. Kate is the Past Vice President of Bras for the Cause, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating breast and cervical cancer in Iowa.
5th year on the Board of Directors of Children and Families of Iowa; currently President-Elect
Marshall County Engineer (retired 2010)
Royce Fichtner served as the Marshall County Engineer, a position he held for over 31 years until his retirement in 2010. In addition, he had previously served another 10 years in other counties.
Royce had been involved with the State County Engineer’s Association and the National Association of County Engineers.
Other Institute course(s)
Resource Management Skills
M.J. "Charlie" Purcell
Iowa Department of Transportation Director of the Office of Local Systems
M.J. “Charlie” Purcell is the Director of the Office of Local Systems for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Charlie is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa and received a B.S. Civil Engineering degree from Iowa State University in 1993.
Woodbury County Engineer
BS in Civil Engineering; Iowa State University
Licensed as a professional engineer in Iowa and Michigan
Mark Nahra earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University in 1984. He is a licensed as a professional engineer in Iowa and Michigan.
Mark has over 30 years of experience working for county government. He has been Woodbury County Engineer since 2009 following nine years as Delaware County Engineer. Prior to this, he held positions like Assistant Engineer for Linn County, Cedar County (Iowa) Engineer, Project Engineer for the Genesee County Highway Commission in Flint, Michigan, and Assistant Engineer for Benton County.
Mark is a member of the Iowa County Engineers Association. He serves on several committees including the County Engineer’s Executive Board. At the national level, Mark serves as an associate delegate for the National Association of County Engineers NCUTCD committee and as a member of the NACE Emergency Management Committee.
He is also a member of and chairs the Farm to Market Review Board and wrote the Iowa Administrative Code Chapter that serves as the official rules by which this state board functions. He has chaired this committee since its inception in 1998. This board is responsible for reviewing all farm to market road classifications statewide.
Member of the Iowa County Engineers Association (currently TRB rep)
Member of the Iowa Highway Research Board
Member and chair of the Farm to Market Review Board
Public Works Director / City Engineer; City of Council Bluffs
BS in Civil Engineering; University of Nebraska
MS in Public Administration; University of Nebraska at Omaha
Greg Reeder has worked with the City of Council Bluffs since 1986. He started as City Engineer and served in that capacity until 2005 when he served as both City Engineer and Public Works Director. These dual responsibilities ended in 2010 when his job title became Public Works Director.
Greg has a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to working for the city, Greg was a structural engineer for five years with HDR’s architectural division in Omaha.
Greg was involved with the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Council Bluffs and a past president of the Grenville Dodge Chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society. In 2002, he was recognized with a distinguished service award from that state organization. He served on the executive board of the Iowa chapter of the American Public Works Association for six years including a term as the President of that organization.
Grenville Dodge Chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society (past president) Iowa Chapter of the APWA (past president)
Office Manager; HGM Associates, Inc. (retired)
Mike Wallner was the Public Works Director for Fort Dodge from 1984 – 1989 and for Council Bluffs from 1989 – 2005. In 2005, he became the office manager HGM Associates, Inc and held this position until his retirement.
Mike was the president of Iowa chapter APWA in 1995 and for 10 years held the chair position for the chapter legislative liaison committee.
Iowa Chapter of the APWA (past president)
Formerly, Marion County Engineer
Roger Schletzbaum was the Marion County Engineer for many years until his retirement in 2014. Prior to becoming the Marion County Engineer, Roger served 13 years on the City of Des Moines Engineering Staff and seven years at the state level with the Iowa D.N.R.
Roger has managed several award winning projects and was named Government Civil Engineer of the Year in 2008 by the Iowa Section of ASCE.
Roger is a member of the Iowa and National County Engineers Associations, the American Public Works Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Member of the Iowa County Engineers Association
Member of the National County Engineers Association
Member of the American Public works Association
Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers
Named Government Civil Engineer of the Year in 2008 by the Iowa Section of ASCE
City of Des Moines Retired Deputy Public Works Director
BS in Industrial Sciences; University of Minnesota
MS in Industrial Safety and Loss Control; University of West Virginia
MS in Public Administration; Drake University
Pat Kozitza graduated from Mankato State University in Mankato, Minnesota. He received a Master’s Degree in Industrial Loss Control from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Pat worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company as a safety consultant in New York, and appeared on “Good Morning America” for the American Red Cross of Greater New York.
He joined the City of Des Moines in 1976. He was promoted to Assistant Employee Relations Director in 1980, Assistant to the Public Works Director in 1984, and Deputy Public Works Director in 1998. He held the position of Deputy Public Works Director for the City of Des Moines until his retirement in 2014.
Throughout his career in public service, Pat participated in a number of government mandated programs giving him a unique perspective on the process of implementing federal legislation.
Other Institute course(s)